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- Poems of Cheer - 17/17 -


Father asks, in tones commanding, "How does Bradstreet rate his standing?"

Sister crooning to her twins, Sighs, "With marriage care begins."

Grandma, near life's closing days, Murmurs, "Sweet are girlhood's ways."

Maud, twice widowed ("sod and grass") Looks at me and moans "Alas!"

They are six, and I am one, Life for me has just begun.

They are older, calmer, wiser: Age should aye be youth's adviser.

They must know--and yet, dear me, When in Harry's eyes I see

All the world of love there burning - On my six advisers turning,

I make answer, "Oh, but Harry Is not like most men who marry.

"Fate has offered me a prize, Life with love means Paradise.

"Life without it is not worth All the foolish joys of earth."

So, in spite of all they say, I shall name the wedding day.

AN AFTERNOON

I am stirred by the dream of an afternoon Of a perfect day--though it was not June; The lilt of winds, and the droning tune That a busy city was humming.

And a bronze-brown head, and lips like wine Leaning out through the window-vine A-list for steps that were maybe mine - Eager steps that were coming.

I can see it all, as a dreamer may - The tender smile on your lips that day, And the glow on your cheek as we rode away Into the golden weather.

And a love-light shone in your eyes of brown - I swear there did!--as we drove down The crowded avenue out of the town, Through shadowy lanes, together:

Drove out into the sunset-skies That glowed with wonderful crimson dyes; And with soul and spirit, and heart and eyes, We silently drank their splendour.

But the golden glory that lit the place Was not alone from the sunset's grace - For I saw in your fair, uplifted face A light that was wondrously tender.

I say I saw it. And yet to-day I ask myself, in a cynical way, Was it only a part you had learned to play, To see me act the lover?

And I curse myself for a fool. And yet I would willingly die without one regret Could I bring back the day whose sun has set - And you--and live it over.

RIVER AND SEA

We stood by the river that swept In its glory and grandeur away; But never a pulse o' me leapt, And you wondered at me that day.

We stood by the lake as it lay With its dimpled face turned to the light; Was it strange I had nothing to say To so fair and enchanting a sight?

I look on your tresses of gold - You are fair and a thing to be loved - Do you think I am heartless and cold That I look and am wholly unmoved?

One answer, dear friend, I will make To the questions your eyes ask of me: "Talk not of the river or lake To those who have looked on the sea"

WHAT HAPPENS?

When thy hand touches mine, through all the mesh Of intricate and interlaced veins Shoot swift delights that border on keen pains: Flesh thrills to thrilling flesh.

When in thine eager eyes I look to find A comrade to my thought, thy ready brain Delves down and makes its inmost meaning plain: Mind answers unto mind.

When hands and eyes are hid by seas that roll Wide wastes between us, still so near thou art I count the very pulses of thy heart: Soul speaketh unto soul.

So every law, or human or divine, In heart and brain and spirit makes thee mine.

POSSESSION

That which we had we still possess, Though leaves may drop and stars may fall; No circumstance can make it less, Or take it from us, all in all.

That which is lost we did not own; We only held it for a day - A leaf by careless breezes blown; No fate could take our own away.

I hold it as a changeless law From which no soul can sway or swerve, We have that in us which will draw Whate'er we need or most deserve.

Even as the magnet to the steel Our souls are to our best desires; The Fates have hearts and they can feel - They know what each true life requires.

We think we lose when we most gain; We call joys ended ere begun; When stars fade out do skies complain, Or glory in the rising sun?

No fate could rob us of our own - No circumstance can make it less; What time removes was but a loan, For what was ours we still possess.


Poems of Cheer - 17/17

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